Porsche 911 Dakar revealed
Porsche reveals new Dakar inspired 911 off-roader for those who can’t find a suitable 911 derivative from the eight it already offers
Let it never be said that Porsche doesn’t offer variety when it comes to the 911. Coupe, Cabriolet, Targa, Speedster, GT3, Touring and RS – if you can’t find a body style you like from that little lot perhaps the 911 isn’t for you. And if what is stopping you from buying a 911 is the lack of an off-road variant your wishes have been answered with the new £173,000 911 Dakar.
Like all vehicles designed for adventure the new 911 Dakar, revealed at the LA Auto Show, is created from cherry picking the required parts from the vast 911 parts shelves. Therefore, the Dakar’s chassis is based on a Carrera S with a sports suspension kit fitted, but it rides 50mm higher with the option to increase that by a further 30mm via the four-corner lift system.
This revised suspension not only provides similar ground clearance and off-road capability to many crossovers and a few SUVs, but the system has also been re-tuned to maintain as much 911 on-road performance, too, with the fitment of Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control. Other performance treats include rear-axle steering, the dynamic engine mounts from the GT3, and the 473bhp, 420lb ft 3-litre turbocharged engine from the GTS and that car’s eight-speed PDK gearbox.
Along with stainless steel skid plate and aluminium towing hooks for the full off-road look (there’s also a 12-volt power supply on the roof for light bars), two new driver modes have also been introduced: Rally and Off-Road. The former is designed for loose surface running at speed, including a more rear drive bias for the four-wheel drive system. Although the car’s top speed off road is limited to 106mph (149mph on the road due to the chunky Pirelli Scorpion All-Terrain Plus tyres, with 9mm of tread, it wears). Off Road mode provides the greatest ground clearance and is designed for seriously rough track driving and playing around in deep mud/sand/snow.
Fitting lightweight glass and battery, the CFRP bonnet from the GT3 and making the new fixed wing out of the same material has kept the Dakar’s weight to within 10kgs of a 911 Carrera 4 GTS (PDK) 1595kg claim, and will still hit 62mph in 3.5-seconds. Inside a pair of bucket seats in the front are all you will find in another weight saving bid.
Limited to just 2500 units worldwide the Dakar will be available with in left and right hand drive. If you’re after the fully explorer look the Rally Design Package, which consists of a hand finished livery evocative of the Rothmans livery of the original 1984 911 Dakar competition car, can be applied for an additional £18,434.